While two-thirds of the country is currently on spring break or experiencing weather that qualifies as “spring-like,” the other third will be enjoying a winter weather alert. We’re using the word “enjoy” here very loosely, of course, as those of us who inhabit the northeastern United States are pros at putting a positive spin on blizzards this big. Still, when you’re scrambling to stock up on the basic groceries before weather hits, “joy” is easily forgotten.
Then again, Tuesday and Wednesday’s winter festivities (we’ll need at least a day for cleanup) don’t have to be all that bad. Both native and transplanted residents of the northeast have learned how to cope with the blustery season’s worst tantrums. From braving the elements to shovel the steps, sidewalks, and driveways during the storm (to avoid more work after), to properly caring for your human and nonhuman loved ones, the soon-to-be-snowbound members of the Uproxx staff put together their best tips and tricks for storm management.
What should you do when you get bored? Or need to add some elevation gains to your paces without donning three layers and a pair of snow boots? Don’t worry gang, we’ve got you covered…
Dan Seitz, Senior Contributor — Shovel during the storm. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it is miserable, wet, cold, and a host of other things that are Not Fun. But you know what sucks worse? Waking up from a food/booze coma while hibernating during a storm and discovering you’ve got all the snow to shovel.
Also, have iced coffee handy. Yes, I know it sounds weird to drink a cold beverage during a snowstorm, but after shoveling snow, hot coffee will just make you sweat more. Besides, New Englanders will get an iced coffee from Dunky’s and leave it in a snowdrift while shoveling. That’s how you know they’re hardcore.
Stacey Ritzen, Web Culture Editor — You may have remembered to stock up on bread, milk, and (most importantly) booze before the snowstorm, but don’t forget about taking care of your furry friends! Your doggo may love playing in the snow, but pups get cold feet too! And depending how furry your dog’s paws are, the snow may cause ice to clump between his or her toes. Thankfully, there’s no need to spend a lot of money on expensive dog footies. For around $10-$15 (on Amazon) you can get a 12 pack of waterproof, reusable dog boots which are basically like balloons that go around your dog’s ankles — which have the added benefit of looking ridiculous.
If your dog needs to be able to walk around on cleared driveways and walkways, you may also want to invest in some non-toxic pet-safe, paw-safe ice melt (which can also be found on Amazon). At $15 plus, this will run you considerably more than regular rock salt, but isn’t man’s best friend worth it?
Brian Grubb, Editor-at-Large — I enjoy working from home most days because my commute is the 8-10 feet from my bed to my desk. For me, this is good. It also means that when we have renegade 70 degree Fridays in February, I can spend the entire afternoon working on my patio, in shorts, in the sun, drinking iced tea. This is extremely good. There is, however, a flip side to that coin. While much of the Northeast gets blanketed in snow this week, and many of you justifiably use it as an opportunity to stay home and binge-watch TV shows from your couch, I will be working, as usual, because not only is “poor conditions” a non-existent excuse to miss a day of work when “going to work” does not involve going outside, but it also means any other reason for missing work is invalid, because I’m stuck inside, where work is. This is less good. I am not built to be responsible when other people are having fun. It hurts me.
I’m aware this is just whining, and not even particularly good whining at that. I just hate winter so much, and the snow, and the one silver lining in it all — a guilt-free excuse to take a weekday off and have beer with lunch — is no longer available to me. It’s not fair.
(It is fair. I know. Leave me alone.)
Andrew Roberts, Trending Managing Editor — I tend to treat my snow adventures in much the same way Spicoli treats every day of his life. The only difference is there is no beach in sight and I’m living in the middle of nowhere. For that reason, I try to counter the effects of the chill outside by living a warm life inside. Some alcohol, a few snacks, plenty of media distractions, and a decent zone for relaxation. Maybe nap and dream about the beach. It’s a nice balance for when snow totals rise and you have to climb the roof to clear snow.
Also if the power goes out, have some flashlights and a book on hand.
Jason Tabrys, Feature Editor — Every year, we get one really nasty blizzard and people suddenly forget that they’ve been through this before and that snow plows exist and snow melts. The grocery stores are chaotic — I had a woman freak out on me on Sunday because I wasn’t navigating through the aisle fast enough. My advice to her is the same as it is to everyone else: relax.
It’s very easy for me to be this chilled out about Megasnow 2017: The Reckoning because I work from home. There’s no snow day or nasty and hazardous commute for me to worry about. We don’t usually lose power, but if we do, I’ll just use my phone to get online.
My advice is to you, now as always, is to be like me. Have enough food in the house because that’s generally good advice all the time. Same with booze, though again, I’m not going to need it since there’s zero snow day fun for me. You should have batteries, shovels, candles, and a portable phone charger as well. I also have someone else who shovels. You should pay the $30 to a neighbor kid or duck that responsibility if you have someone else in your house who is willing. Or invest in a snowblower since, you know, this sh*t happens every year. Again: snow melts, blizzard’s fade, and the power comes back. Don’t resort to cannibalism or enacting The Purge and all will be fine.
Andrew Husband, New & Entertainment Writer — Binge-watching Netflix (or Amazon, Hulu, HBO Go — I might have a problem), playing video and computer games, and reading to pass the time are great snow day activities. Yet these can be very insular — which is great for an hour or two, but the entire day? What if, as will perhaps befall those of us in New England, you’re stuck inside your apartment or its vicinity for nearly 48 hours? To make matters worse, what if the power goes out? Follow a modified version of Steve Bramucci’s recent advice and go outside… inside your home.
This can be figurative, as in go “outside” your usual stay-at-home routine. So instead of binging all the things on Netflix and stealing all the cars in Grand Theft Auto V, I may spend most of my snow days playing board games with others. (Or various dominoes games, for which I bought a set to teach my greenhorn partner about.) This can also be literal, as in visit neighbors or friends in your building if possible. Since all three units in my place are connected via the same main stairwell, we’ll often bug each other throughout the day. Plus, walking up and down the stairs feels great after sitting around all day.
Steve Bramucci, Life Editor — Have a lot of sex. I live in California because this all sounds miserable to me, but I thought the whole point of being snowed in was to have crazy sex romps. Either way, I’m sticking to my advice: Turn up the heat… literally.